Lifestyle

Kitsap Humane Society's gala to raise money for homeless animals

Each year, Kate Justice and the Kitsap Humane Society staff can hardly believe their eyes as people bid on item after item, all to raise money for homeless, abused and abandoned animals.

“Some people have already donated and they’re still holding up those bid cards,” said Justice, KHS events coordinator. “It’s powerful.”

KHS will host the 16th annual Animal Krackers Auction and Gala Dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17 at the Kitsap Conference Center at Bremerton Harborside. Tickets start at $125 per person and a portion of the price is tax-deductible.

The event is KHS’ largest annual fundraiser, raking in about $140,000 at last year’s gala alone.

In comparison, KHS’ next largest fundraiser, PetsWALK, brings in $25,000.

Justice said KHS only makes a slight profit on the ticket sales, but the real money comes from the live and silent auctions as well as a dessert auction.

Two-hundred items will be up for bid at this year’s event — 40 in the live auction and 160 in the silent auction.

Auction items include themed gift baskets, a stay at a bed and breakfast, a Holland America Cruise and tickets to Disneyland.

“It really runs the gamut,” Justice said.

Animal Krackers includes a special appeal section where people donate money for a specific KHS fund. This year, people will donate money to KHS’ special needs fund, which helps cover the costs of special circumstances, such as KHS treating a dog that has been hit by a car.

“We already have someone who’s made a commitment to donate $2,500 for the fund,” Justice said.

People raised $29,000 for the special needs fund at last year’s Animal Krackers.

“It’s amazing because you’re not getting anything in return, there’s no item up for bid,” Justice said.

The real stars — the animals — will be present at the fundraising event. Animals available for adoption will be there and photos of animals who have been helped by the special needs fund will be on display.

“It’s why people are there,” Justice said. “Ultimately, we need people to understand that the animals are the ones who benefit from the auction.”

Justice said KHS knows people are struggling due to the tough economic times, but the organization is still hoping to raise a good chunk of change.

To purchase Animal Krackers tickets, call the KHS events department at (360) 692-6977 ext 7113, e-mail events@kitsap-humane.org or visit www.kitsap-humane.org.

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